Scantic Academy Museum

So you want to know about the East Windsor Historical Society…

Well, maybe you didn’t ask specifically, but here’s a little info anyway.

Scantic Academy Museum

Academy 2010

This is our museum, located at 115 Scantic Road, East Windsor, Connecticut. The 2-story brick structure was built as a school in 1817 and remained as such until 1938. It was doing a whole lot of nothing (sometimes rented by the Scantic Congregation Church) until it was bought by L. Ellsworth Stoughton in 1946. He maintained it as a rental property with the top and bottom floors acting as apartments. In 1966, he donated the top floor to the East Windsor Historical Society, Inc. to act as a museum. In 2000, the building was renovated completely and restored with historical integrity. Since that time it has been the town of East Windsor’s museum, housing hundreds of artifacts and acting as a resource for historical records and research. We, the dedicated few that volunteer every Saturday, call it “East Windsor’s Attic” a place where families can store forgotten but valuable memories.

Over the past 5 years, there has been a big effort to catalog and scan all of the documents, pictures, and artifacts into a computerized database. We’ve been creating this massive to archive and protect our treasures so that they might never be lost or destroyed. It’s still a slow process (can only get so much accomplished on Saturday mornings when good folks stop by and want to chat) but it has proved most helpful to individuals looking for a piece of their family’s past.

So that’s the main building. But wait! There’s more! Behind curtain number two…

Barber Shop 1998 2

This is the Barber Shop. It was previously located on Main Street in the Broad Brook section of town.

I should take a moment to clarify that we have 5 villages in the town of East Windsor; Broad Brook, Warehouse Point, Melrose, Windsorville, and Scantic. Now know this very well: if you grew up in town and you are from a particular village, you inherently think your village is the best village. For example, I am from Broad Brook and if you ask me (or a fellow Broad Brookian) where we are from we will always say “Broad Brook” and not “East Windsor”. We have our own zip code, you know. Some of us will joke that it is the capital of East Windsor. For many years, Broad Brook and Warehouse Point have had a sibling rivalry, one always thinking it is better than the other. Warehouse Point and Broad Brook are primary areas of business and travel, so they are the most populated. Melrose, Scantic, and Windsorville, however, are proud villages as well. Scantic at one point was the center of town, being the primary point of settlement on the East side of the Connecticut River in the 1600’s as Windsor was developing. We’ll detail each of the villages to great length in later posts.

Back to the Barber Shop. It was moved to the academy’s property on the back of a flatbed truck in February of 1967. More detail to come on this as well! It certainly deserves its own post as it is rich with history.

Also…

Probate Court

The old Probate Court. This was moved on the back of a similar flatbed truck from Warehouse Point. Currently it’s a bit of a storage bin, collecting books and other various assortments, but its renovation is next on our long list of “To Do” items.

Lastly, the barn…

Barn 24

I’m not entirely sure when the original barn was built, but the addition was added in 2003 with a good ol’ fashioned barn raising. Contractors and volunteers worked to build the structure that now houses our farming and tobacco equipment, as well as our tractor.

So this gives you a glimpse of what our museum has to offer. We’re open every Saturday from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM and all are welcome! Admission is free!

Summer and Baseball

So while I get back into the posting bandwagon and prepare some great tidbits of information to post, I thought I might share a poem I found recently in our archives. It’s summertime and there is nothing in the world more Americana than baseball. The author is mearly listed as “You Know” and appears to be from 1899 though I can’t be 100% sure. That’s the beauty of historical archives in a small town… you never are quite sure of anything. Just as an FYI point of reference if you’re unfamiliar with Connecticut, Broad Brook is a village in East Windsor and Hazardville is a nearby village in the town of Enfield. Enjoy!

Lines That Shakespeare Never Wrote by “You Know”

The ballplayers of Broad Brook
From home they have been,
And beaten the tar out of
The Hazardville team.
When the game it was finished,
The score was 16 to 9,
And all of the people
Enjoyed a good time.

Now, there’s Rusty Daly, the pitcher,
He’s tall and he’s slim,
But he pitches the ball
With terrible vim;
And old Karan Ryan,
that’s the catcher we’ve got,
Could stop balls from a cannon
And never get shot.

The next one to play
Is the first baseman you know,
And I’ll give you the tip,
Johnny Werner’s not slow.
He can run like a deer,
and the ball he will find;
He’s earned that title,
“I am never behind.”

But who is that standing
With his hands on his hips?
Why, that’s Francis Wheeler;
he is a regular old nibs.
It’s second base that he plays,
And his head he keeps cool,
And many’s the player
That Frankie does fool.

Now, there is Bert Willey,
That’s a man you have seen.
He is the chap
That looks after the team.
And his playing that day,
It looked awfully slick,
For he caught every ball
That came from the stick.

There is young Louie Leslie,
He is next on the line,
And I’ll tell unto you
His playing was fine;
For between him and Morris Kennedy,
If ever they shout,
The man running that base,
Ten to one he is out.

Young Morris Kennedy
Is a short stop, you bet,
His equal in Broad Brook
Has never been met.
He can throw any base
Like a shot from a gun,
And, of course, you all know
That spoils a home run.

Now, two players are left,
And they have very great fame,
Your ear just a minute,
It’s Ward, that’s their name.
There’s Billy, he can bat,
And if Charlie would try,
He could catch in one hand
Base balls from the sky.

But wait just a minute,
I have something to say,
This team has a mascot,
He works every day.
He’s an old “tarry” sailor
And I want you to know
The emblem he looks for
Is a bird called “Old Crow.”

Event!

Well it’s the first real post and it’s about our next meeting!

The East Windsor Historical Society will be sponsoring an event at the Warehouse Point Library on Thursday, September 20th at 7:00 PM. Nicholas G. McDonald will be presenting a history of dinosaurs in Connecticut during the Triassic and Jurassic periods.

Little known fact about East Windsor: The earliest discovery of dinosaur bones in North America occurred here in town in 1818. They were found by Solomon Ellsworth Jr. on what is now Rye Street. Stop by the museum to see a cast of the fossils. The originals are down at Yale University in New Haven, CT.

So feel free to stop by the event, it’s free and open to all.

Hope to see you there!